Volume 93, Issue 33

Thursday, October 28, 1999


Square Root keeps adding up

Superchunk still smiles

Watt charges up the Office audience

Air shows Symptomes of greatness

Square Root keeps adding up

Gazette file photo
YEP, THAT CHICKEN LITTLE GUY SURE KNEW HIS SHIT. Chatham band Square Root of Margaret have their heads up for success after their latest release. The band will be playing at Call the Office this Friday.

By Luke Rundle
Gazette Staff

Though many have never heard of a small Chatham foursome with a non-sensical name like The Square Root of Margaret, rest assured, the band are more than aware of their obscurity and are taking mammoth steps to change it.

Hot on the heels of their first full length album, Burst of Breedin,' the group is ready to release a followup effort entitled Heard Music Playing. They plan to tour through pockets of southwestern Ontario, with their effort, including Call the Office tomorrow night.

Originally intended to be a small compilation of Square Root's more ambiguous songs, Heard Music Playing evolved into a full-fledged album when the band decided the songs deserved their own time in the sun.

"We're compiling some of our more obscure songs, because we know that besides our hard core fans, the few people in the world that have heard us have only heard Burst of Breedin,' which was only one side of us," Kadot explains. "[There's] actually kind of a weird concept behind the record, in that these are songs that our songs come from, even though they're our songs."

A perplexing explanation at best, but Kadot goes on to say the songs constituting Heard Music Playing have inspired Square Root throughout their career. "It starts off with short, really catchy pop melodies but really spacey, with lots of [synthesizers]. It starts off as punchy pop, then gets more and more progressive and spreads out," Kadot rhapsodizes.

"In the end, it's almost ambient, with loops kind of flying around. I don't know what to expect, what the reaction will be. The idea behind Heard Music Playing is that this is the source of our sound."

Though Square Root currently find a safe haven on the indie label 33 1/3, they are debating whether to establish relationships with major labels. They are currently discussing their unrealsed album with other labels. "We've had some interest, so we'll see what happens. So we're kind of shopping that [CD], while starting on another one produced by us in our own studio."

For many independent bands, this kind of prospect can be described only as scary. Besides the high-minded implications of "selling out" some associate with major labels, many artists fear the integrity of their material may be bastardized by heartless industry types.

It is for this reason Square Root appreciate their current label. "33 1/3 is sort of a protective shell for [us]. It's a place where we can always put out our own stuff and have control and own our own material," Kadot laughs. "There's less sharks in the pool."

As for the band's seemingly bright future, Kadot feels their live performances could be bettered by the addition of more artists to their lineup.

"We don't want to expand the core relationship of the band, because everybody's been friends for so long," he begins. "But when I record a song, I might lay down the acoustic with electric overdubs, a banjo might come into play and there's also the [synthesizers] that are factored into every song now. We don't have anyone to play them live, we only have eight arms, so we're looking to expand our live presence."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999